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Section 11: The Spirit-Faithful, Descended with the Qur’an

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 192-196

وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الأَمِينُ

عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ

بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ

وَإِنَّهُ لَفِي زُبُرِ الأَوَّلِينَ

192. “And verily this (Qur’an) is from the Lord of the Worlds.”
193. “The Faithful Spirit has descended with it.”
194. “Upon your heart that you may be of the warners.”
195. “In the perspicuous Arabic language.”
196. “And verily it is (foretold) in the (heavenly) Books of the ancients.”

Qur’an is Divine revelation, and it is not the Prophet’s own sayings or out of what he has heard. And also the Qur’an has been sent down from the world of unseen to the world of manifest.

The One Who has sent revelation is the same One Who manages and cherishes the whole existence.

The heavenly laws are in line with the system of creation, therefore, in this verse, after the statement of seven stories of the events of the ancient prophets and the instructive lessons which were found in them, the Qur’an returns again to the same theme with which the Surah began, the theme of the greatness of the Qur’an and legitimacy of this Divine clear word.

The verse says:

“And verily this (Qur’an) is from the Lord of the Worlds.”

In principle, stating the different parts of the life stories of the former prophets with so much care and narrowness that they are free from any superstition, false myths and fables, in a place where was the center of tales and fables of the ancients, and by a person who had not learnt lessons at all, are some reasons that this Book has been sent down from the side of the Lord of the worlds, and this by itself, is the sign of the miracle of the Qur’an.

Then, the Qur’an adds:

“The Faithful Spirit has descended with it.”

If that angel of revelation, that ‘trustful Spirit of Allah’ had not brought it from the side of Allah, it would not have been so illuminating, pure, and free from being polluted with any superstitions and falsehoods.

It is worthy noting that the angel of revelation has been qualified here by two titles: the title of Ruh (Spirit) and the title of Faithful (Amin). It means the spirit that is the source of livelihood, and the thing which is the main condition of guidance and leadership.

Yes, this ‘Faithful Spirit’ brings down this Qur’an from the side of Allah to the heart of the Prophet (S) in order that he warns people and makes them aware of the dangerous fate that they will have because of deviation from monotheism.

Its aim has not been to explain the history of the ancient people as a hobby and telling stories. Its aim is to create sense of responsibility and awareness. Its aim is to train men.

It says:

“Upon your heart that you may be of the warners.”1

And, for the fact that there would remain no room for any pretext and excuse for any body, it says:

“In the perspicuous Arabic language.”

This Qur’an has been sent down in the eloquent Arabic language and free from any ambiguity so that it could be clean enough for warning and awakening nations, especially in that locality where the people were very obstinate and pretext- seeking.

The Arabic language is a rather complete language which is enriched with a vast and full literature.

It is necessary to note that one of the meanings of the Arabic word /‘arabi/ (Arabic) is eloquence and rhetoric apart from the quality of tongue, as Raqib says in Mufradat:

“Arabic is called to a clear eloquent speech.”

The same meaning has been mentioned in Lisan-ul-‘Arab, too.

In this case, the aim is not to emphasize on the Arabic language, but it is on the eloquence and clearness of the) concepts of its content. The verses which will be discussed later certify this meaning, too.

It is also said in Surah Fussilat, No. 41, verse 44:

“And if We had made it a Qur’an in a foreign tongue, they would certainly have said: ‘Why have not) its verses been made clear?...”

(Here, the word /’a‘jamiyy/ (foreign) means: ‘not eloquent’.)

Then, the verse refers to another one of the reasons of the legitimacy of the Qur’an, indicating that the former Books had announced that it would come into being in future.

The verse says:

“And verily it is (foretold) in the (heavenly) Books of the ancients.”

In Moses’ Book, Turah, in particular, the qualities of this prophet (S) and this Book both have been referred to in such a clear way that the scholars of the Jews were quietly aware of it. It is even said that it was because of prophecies of the Jewish scholars about the advent of this prophet and this Divine Book that ’Aus and Khazraj, two tribes, believed in the Prophet of Islam (S)

We must not take the Qur’an insignificant, because:

1- Its origin is Rabb-ul‘Alamin

(the Lord of the Worlds).

2- Its intermediary is Ruh-ul-’Amin

(the Faithful Spirit).

3- Its receiver is the pure heart of the Prophet (S)

(Upon your heart...)

4- Its aim is to warn and awaken people,

(of the warners).

5- Its language is Arabic, the eloquent,

(In the perspicuous Arabic language).

6- Its glad tidings can be found in ancient Divine Books,

(... in the (heavenly) Books of the ancients).

A Few Traditions Upon the Qur’an

1. The holy Prophet (S) said:

“The superiority of the Qur’an unto other words is like the superiority of Allah (s.w.t.) unto His creatures.”2

2. The Messenger of Islam (S) said:

“Be aware of the Qur’an! Verily it is a useful healing, and an auspicious remedy; and it is the protector of the person who holds fast to it, and a rescue for the one who follows it.”3

3. The holy Prophet (S) said:

“The noble ones of my Ummah are those who carry out the Qur’an, and keep a vigil in the night, too.”4

4. The Prophet (S) said:

“The best of you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.”5

Also, Imam Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) has eloquently pointed out this fact through his very inclusive statement in Nahj-ul- Balaqah, where he says:

“...Therefore, seek cure from it your ailments and seek its assistance in your distresses. It contains a cure for the biggest diseases, namely unbelief hypocrisy, revolt and misguidance...”6

In another occurrence in Nahj-ul-Balaqah, he (as) says:

“Beware that it contains knowledge of what is to come about, stories of the past, cure for your ailments and regulation for whatever is among you.”7

And the same Imam (as), in another place of Nahj-ul-Balaqah, says:

“...You should adhere to the Book of Allah, because it is the strong rope, a clear light, a benefiting cure, a quenching for thirst, a protection for the adherent and deliverance for the attached. It does not curve so as to need straightening and does not deflect so as to be corrected.

Frequency of its repetition and its falling on ears does not make it old. Whoever speaks according to it, speaks truth and whoever acts by it is forward (in action)...”8

These expressive statements, that the like of them can abundantly be found in the teachings of the Prophet (S), and in other words of Hadrat Ali (as) and other Imams (as), clearly prove that the Qur'an is a prescription useful for arranging all disorders, a cure for both individuals and society from the kinds of ethical and social diseases.

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 197-199

أَوَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُمْ آيَةً أَن يَعْلَمَهُ عُلَمَاء بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ

وَلَوْ نَزَّلْنَاهُ عَلَى بَعْضِ الأَعْجَمِينَ

فَقَرَأَهُ عَلَيْهِم مَّا كَانُوا بِهِ مُؤْمِنِينَ

197. “Is it not a sign to them that the learned of the Children of Israel know it (as true)?”
198. “And if We had sent it down to any of the non-Arabs,”
199. “And he had recited it to them, they would not have believed in it.”

The scholars of the Children of Israel were aware of the truthfulness of the Qur’an.

The excuse of being ignorant is not accepted from the faulty ones. Those Jews who did not ask their scholars to know the truth deserve to be blamed and rebuked.

Is not the knowledge of the scholars of the Children of Israel unto the glad tidings concerning the appointment of the Prophet of Islam (S) recorded in the ancient Divine Books as a reason for the veracity of his prophethood?

The verse says:

“Is it not a sign to them that the learned of the Children of Israel know it (as true)?”

Those scholars of the Children of Israel who had believed in the holy Qur’an informed that the Prophet’s name had been mentioned in their books, and the Jews and some Arab tribes had heard it from the learned ones of them and this very thing worked as their mean for ’Aus, and Khazraj to believe.

Ibn Abbas says that the objective of ‘the learned of the Children of Israel’ mentioned in the verse is ‘Abdillah-ibn-Salam and his companions, such as: Ibn-i-Yamin, Tha‘labah, ’Asad, ’Usayd and so on.

It is clear, of course, that it was not possible for the Qur’an to say such a great thing about itself in such an environment where there were so many scholars of the Children of Israel who were completely in association with pagans, because all of them could immediately deny it manifestly.

This itself shows that in the locality of the descent of the verses of the Qur’an, this issue was so clear and known that there was no room for any denial.

Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 89 says:

“When there came to them a Book from Allah, confirming what was with them - and, from before, they had been praying for victory over those who rejected the truth - when there came to them that which they recognized (to be truth), they disbelieved in it.”

All of these facts are clear evidences to the veracity of the statement of the Qur’an and the rightfulness of its call.

Then, the next verse implies that if the Qur’an was sent down unto some one who was not Arab and he recited it to the Arabs, they would not believe in it and restrained to follow it, but Allah sent the Qur’an down in the clear Arabic language to the most eloquent one of them who was from the noblest family among them in order that they would ponder and confirm it and follow it better.

The verse says:

“And if We had sent it down to any of the non-Arabs,”

It was also formerly said that the Arabic word /‘arabi/ in context means ‘a person who is from the Arab generation’. Sometimes it means ‘eloquent speech’.

The Arabic word /‘ajami/ is in contrast with it and has two meanings: A) a non-Arab person, B) an ineloquent speech, and in the above mentioned verse both of them are probable, but it mostly seems that it refers to the first meaning.

This verse means that their racialism and tribal prejudice is so violent that if the Qur’an were sent down to a non-Arab, the waves of bigotries would hinder them to accept it.

Now that it has been sent down unto an honourable man from a noble family of Arabs in Arabic language and its glad tidings has also been mentioned in the former Divine Books and the learned ones of the Children of Israel have testified it, too, many of them did not believe; let alone if their prophet had not such conditions at all.

It was why in the next verse the Holy Qur’an says:

“And he had recited it to them, they would not have believed in it.”

A Tradition

Narrating from his father, Muhammad-ibn-Musa Ar-Razi said:

“One day Imam Rida (as) spoke about the Qur’an and he dignified the reason inside of it and stated about its wonderful order which is as a sign of miracle, and said:

‘The Qur’an is a firm rope of Allah, the strongest handle and the clear way of Allah which leads to the Paradise, and secures from the Fire, the past of time does not make it old and it is not tiresome for tongues, because it has not been appointed for a particular time but (in all times) it has been appointed as a reason and proof for all humankind.

‘Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; it is sent down from the Wise, the Praised One’9.”10

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 200-202

كَذَلِكَ سَلَكْنَاهُ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ

لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ حَتَّى يَرَوُا الْعَذَابَ الأَلِيمَ

فَيَأْتِيَهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ

200. “Thus We caused it passing into the hearts of the sinners,”
201. “(But) they will not believe in it until they see the painful punishment.”
202. “And it shall come upon them all of a sudden, while they are not aware.”

Allah completes the argument even with the pagans and exposes it to them and causes it to pass into their hearts, but if there is not any receptivity even the Qur’an is not effective.

Therefore, in this verse He says:

“Thus We caused it passing into the hearts of the sinners,”

Allah sent the Qur’an down with clear statements and in the language of their own people unto a man from among them who was acquainted with their customs, and its content had been confirmed by the former Divine Books.

In short, He sent it with all the conditions which made the acceptance of it easy for them in the hearts of those sinful people, but these diseased hearts denied accepting it. It is like the sound nutritious food that a sick stomach does not receive and rejects it.

The verse says:

“(But) they will not believe in it until they see the painful punishment.”

The Arabic phrase /salaknahu/ is derived from the word /suluk/ which means ‘passing a way’, coming from one side and going out from another side.

Yes, they do not believe in it until the Divine punishment suddenly overtakes them while they do not perceive.

The verse says:

“And it shall come upon them all of a sudden, while they are not aware.”

No doubt, the purpose of this Divine punishment which suddenly seizes them is the worldly chastisement and the destructive affliction which is called ‘’istisal’, (the Divine punishment for the unchangeable sinners).

By the way, the ugly and beautiful rites and traditions, and in other words, racial bigotries work as a curtain of egotism and ignorance which covers the man’s thought, apprehension and wisdom and bars that the correct judgment works.

This state of bigotry has a harsher form among some tribes, for example, a group of Arabs were known as zealous people, and they are referred to in the abovementioned verses.

The Arabic fanaticism of the Age of Ignorance was so vast that if the Qur’an were sent down to non-Arabs the Arabs would never believe in it.

A tradition narrated from Imam Sadiq (as), recorded in the Commentary by Ali-ibn-’Ibrahim, concerning this verse, says:

“Had the Qur’an been sent down to any non-Arab, Arabs would not have believed, but the Qur’an was sent down to Arabs, and non-Arabs believed in it, and this is an excellence for non-Arabs.”11

A Few Traditions Upon Bigotry

1. A tradition narrated from the holy Prophet (S) indicates that he said:

“Whoever has bigotry as much as a mustard seed in his heart, Allah will muster him with the Arabs of the Age of Ignorance on the Hereafter Day.”12

2. In another tradition Imam Sadiq (as) says:

“He who has got fanaticism, or fanaticism is made for him, has removed the collar of faith from his neck.”13

Hadrat Ali (as) has delivered a comprehensive and strict discussion in Qasi‘ah sermon upon fanaticism a part of which is as follows:

“As for ’Iblis, he felt proud over Adam because of his origin and taunted at him about his creation, since he said:

‘I am of fire while you are of clay’.”

Then he (as) adds:

“In case you cannot avoid fanaticism, your fanaticism should be for good qualities, praiseworthy acts, and admirable matters…”14

Confirming this statement of Ali (as), once Ali-ibn-il-Hussayn (as) was asked about bigotry and he, in a tradition, said:

“The bigotry by which a person sins is that he considers the vicious ones of his tribe better than the good ones of other tribe, and it is not bigotry that he loves the people of his tribe; but bigotry is that he assists his tribe in injustice.”15

Another meaning of bigotry, which is seen in the verses of the Qur’an and Islamic narrations, is /hamiyyat/ ‘zealotry’ or /hamiyyat-ij-Jahilliyah/, (i.e., the zealotry of (the days of) ignorance).

Though there are many words delivered in this field, we suffice to only two traditions here.

Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali (as) once said:

“Verily Allah will punish six groups for six qualities: Arabs for fanaticism, stewards (the owners of lands and wealth) for pride, the guardians of the affairs for cruelty, the jurisprudents for jealousy, the merchants for treachery, and the villagers for gnorance.”16

The Messenger of Allah (S) every day used to seek protection of Allah from six things: skepticism, paganism, zealotry, wrath, inequity, and jealousy.17

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 203-206

فَيَقُولُوا هَلْ نَحْنُ مُنظَرُونَ

أَفَبِعَذَابِنَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونَ

أَفَرَأَيْتَ إِن مَّتَّعْنَاهُمْ سِنِينَ

ثُمَّ جَاءهُم مَّا كَانُوا يُوعَدُونَ

203. “Then they will say: ‘Shall we be respited?’”
204. “Do they then ask for Our Chastisement to be hastened on?”
205. “Have you then considered if We let them enjoy themselves for years,”
206. “Then there comes to them that (punishment) which they were promised?”

Allah’s respite must not be the cause of our pride and heedlessness, because death and Divine punishment comes all of a sudden:

(And it shall come upon them all of a sudden)

Those who haste to see the Divine punishment, there will come a day when they will ask for respite concerning it.

But respite will not avail the wrong doers and the black-earted ones.

As soon as death seizes the criminals, their sigh and regret begins and they wish to return to this world. Their cries and unaccepted invocations will be useless in this regard.

There are many verses in the Qur’an which reflect this fact, the simplest of them can be recited in these verses.

The Qur’an announces:

“Then they will say: ‘'Shall we be respited?’”
“Do they then ask for Our Chastisement to be hastened on?”

This statement points to this fact that they had repeatedly asked their prophets derisively that they would bring the chastisement they had promised them, but when they are afflicted with it, they ask for respite to amend their past. Once they imagined that all of these and Divine punishment was a joke, but later they found that it was more earnest than the earnest.

The verse says:

“Have you then considered if We let them enjoy themselves for years, “

However, Allah’s way of treatment is that He will not punish any nation unless He completes the argument and gives them enough respite. But, when the statements were completed and they enjoyed sufficient respite and they did not follow the truth, then they would have a chastisement that they cannot escape of or return from.

The verse says:

“Then there comes to them that (punishment) which they were promised?”

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 207-209

مَا أَغْنَى عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يُمَتَّعُونَ

وَمَا أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ إِلاَّ لَهَا مُنذِرُونَ

ذِكْرَى وَمَا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ

207. “That which they were made to enjoy shall not avail them.”
208. “And We did not destroy any town but it had its warners,”
209. “To remind (them) and never are We unjust.”

Allah’s punishment comes after completing the argument.

By the way, the welfare of the opponents of religion should not make the Prophet (S) sad, because their welfare and affluence will be ceased one day. It is certain that at the time of Divine punishment all means of happiness will be useless.

That is why this verse says:

“That which they were made to enjoy shall not avail them.”

Suppose they are given a new respite, which will not be given after completing the argument, and suppose they remain in this world for many other years and live with pride and negligence, do they have any thing but further enjoyment of material merits?

Do they try to amend their past? And, at the time of facing with punishment again, are they able to solve their problem, have a change in their fate? Certainly not, but, on the contrary, they increase their sins during this period of time and make their burden heavier.

Through next verse, the Qur’an implies that no town or city was destroyed except that they were warned and admonished by the divine prophets and completing the argument so that they might amend them.

When they were not changed by Divine intimidation, threat, and admonition and deserved chastisement because of persistence in disbelief and enmity, Allah would somehow destroy them without imposing them any injustice.

The Qur’an says:

“And We did not destroy any town but it had its warners,”
“To remind (them) and never are We unjust.”

In this verse, Allah negates any injustice from Him and has rejected those who attribute any inequity and infidelity to Allah. This is injustice that Allah destroys a group who are not unjust, or He punishes the oppressors without completing the argument sufficiently.

Whatever has been mentioned in these verses is, in fact, the statement of the rational principle known as ‘the principle of ugliness of chastisement without statement’.

Something similar to the content of this verse is mentioned in Surah Al-’Isra’, No. 17, verse 15, indicating that Allah never punishes a group unless He sends a messenger among them to explain the facts for them, where it says:

“...nor do We punish (anyone) until We raise a messenger.”

By the way, Allah destroys an individual or a group when He has warned them from before, otherwise retribution without warnings is injustice, and it is not in line with the rank of Allah.

The Qur’an has mentioned this fact in different verses:

A) Surah An-Nahl, No. 16, verse 118:

“...And We did them no injustice...”

B) Surah Qafir, No. 40, verse 31:

“...and Allah does not desire injustice for (His) servants.”

C) Surah Al-‘Ankabut, No. 29, verse 40:

“...and it did not beseem Allah that He would be unjust to them...”

D) Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 124:

“...and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”

E) Surah Maryam, No. 19, verse 60:

“…and they shall not be dealt with unjustly in any way.”

F) Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 49:

“…and they shall not be wronged even the heir of a date-stone.”

G) Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 40:

“Verily Allah does not do injustice even of the weight of an atom...”

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 210-212

وَمَا تَنَزَّلَتْ بِهِ الشَّيَاطِينُ

وَمَا يَنبَغِي لَهُمْ وَمَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ

إِنَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّمْعِ لَمَعْزُولُونَ

210.”And the Satans have not bring it down.”
211. “And it behooves them not, nor they can do (it).”
212. “Verily they are banished from hearing it.”

Revelation is of two kinds:

A) The Divine revelation which is sent down to the Prophet's heart by the Faithful Spirit (Ruh-ul-’Amin). This kind of revelation is neither deserving for Jinn and Satens, nor can they receive and convey it.

B) Another kind of revelation is the satanic temptations and inspirations which Satans inspire unto their friends:

“...verily the Satans inspire unto their friends...”18

The Qur’an has got a firmness, a high rank of sanctity, and a particular protection, since it is Faithful Spirit. It is secured from any larceny, and its receiver is immaculate:

“Nor does he speak out of desire.”19

It has been guaranteed:

“Verily We Ourself have sent down the Reminder (the Qur’an) and verily We (Ourlself) will be its Guardian.”20

So, in this verse, it says:

“And the Satans have not bring it down.”

Yes, it is never appropriate for the Jinns and Satans to bring such verses down.

The verse says:

“And it behooves them not...”

That is, the content of this great Book, which is on the path of truth, invitation to purity, justice, piety and negation of any paganism, clearly shows that it never adapt to the Satanic considerations and evil inspirations, because Satans produce naught but vice and corruption.

This Book is goodness and righteousness, thus its clear content alone is the sign of its authenticity. Moreover, they are not able to do such a thing.

The verse continues saying:

“...nor they can do (it).”

If they had such a might, those who were in contact with them in the locality of the revelation of the Qur’an, such as some soothsayers or Satans (or, at least, the pagans whose communication with them was certain) could bring something like it (the Qur'an), but all of them were impotent and with their inability and frustration they proved that these verses were beyond their ability.

Moreover, the soothsayers confessed themselves that, after the birth of the Prophet (S) their communication with the Satans, who were in contact with them for the information of heavens, was ceased, and they were deposed from hearing the news of the skies, as the verse says:

“Verily they are banished from hearing it.”

Some of the verses of the Qur’an indicate that formerly the Satans used to go unto the skies and by eavesdropping they could take some matters, which were current between the angels, and occasionally transferred them to their friends.

But by the birth of the Prophet (S) and by his advent, the eavesdropping was absolutely ceased for them and that news communication was fully vanished. The pagans also knew this matter themselves, and suppose that the pagans did not know it, the Qur’an informed it.21

It is for this reason that, as an evidence, the Qur’an has emphasized on it in the abovementioned verses.

Thus, this accusation has been answered and rejected in three ways:

A) The lack of conspiracy of the content of the Qur’an with Satanic inspirations.

B) The lack of ability of Satans to do such a thing.

C) The prohibition of the Satans from eavesdropping.

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verse 213

فَلاَ تَدْعُ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ فَتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُعَذَّبِينَ

213. “So call you not upon another god with Allah, lest you will be one of the chastised (ones).”

Allah prohibits the Prophet (S) from polytheism so that we learn; else, the Prophet (S) never sought other than Allah, even for a moment.

The leaders of monotheism must themselves be the first monotheists; and whatever and whoever is besides Allah is not worthy of worshipping. Going towards anything other than Allah brings misery and chastisement in its sequel. It has been the cause of destruction of the former nations.

Then, in this verse, before anything else, Allah invites the prophet (S) to having a firm belief in-Monotheism, a monotheism that formed the root and basis of the call of all prophets.

It says:

“So call you not upon another god with Allah, lest you will be one of the chastised (ones).”

The Prophet of Islam (S) was certainly the herald of Monotheism and there was no deviation from this principle considered in him, yet the importance of this issue was so much that, at first He addresses him concerning this matter, in order that other persons settle their account. Besides that, improving others must begin by means of self-actualization and self-improvement.

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 214-217

وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الأَقْرَبِينَ

وَاخْفِضْ جَنَاحَكَ لِمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

فَإِنْ عَصَوْكَ فَقُلْ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْعَزِيزِ الرَّحِيمِ

214. “And warn your nearest relations,”
215. “And lower your wing (be humble) to the believer who follow you.”
216. “But if they disobey you, then say: ‘Verily I am quit of what you do’!”
217. “And rely on the Mighty, the Merciful,”

In the school of revelation, all people are equal before the law of Allah, and the close people to the Prophet (p.b.u.) are also warned. This warning to the nearest ones strengthens the sense of accepting the truth in others.

Therefore, in this verse, Allah commands the Prophet (S) implicitly that he warns even his nearest relatives and frightens them from pplytheism and disobeying the command of Allah.

It says:

“And warn your nearest relations,”22

In order to start a vast revolutionary program, it is evident that it must begin with smaller and more condensed rings.

It was better for the Prophet (S) to begin his first call with his relations, who knew both his pure background more than others, and the love of his close relation with them required that they hearkened to his word more than others, because they, comparing with others, were farther from jealousies, enmities, and taking an antagonistic position.

By the way, according to what has been recorded in the Islamic histories, in the third year of his embassy, the Prophet of Islam (S) was commissioned to convey this call, for until then the call was being achieved hiddenly and only a few persons had embraced Islam.

But when the above verse, and the verse saying:

“Therefore, declare openly what you are bidden and turn you away from the polytheists”23

were sent down, the Prophet (S) was commissioned to announce his call manifestly and to begin it first with his own nearest relations.24

The manner of this conveying and warning was briefly as follows:

The holy Prophet invited his close relations to Abutalib’s house. On that day, they were forty persons, and among the Prophet’s uncles only Abutalib, Hamzah, and Abu Lahab attended the meeting.

After having the food, when the Prophet (S) wanted to fulfil his duty and convey his call, Abu Lahab took the initiative and disturbed the situation by his sayings. So the Prophet (S) invited them again for food on the following day.

After having the food, he (S) said:

“O the children of ‘Abdul-Muttalib! I do not know any young man among Arabs who has brought for his tribe something better than what I have brought for you. I have brought the goodness of this world and Hereafter for you, and Allah has ordered me to invite you to this religion. Which one of you will assist me in this affair so that he can be my brother and my successor?”

The crowd totally rejected save Ali (as) who was the youngest among them.

He stood up and said:

“O the messenger of Allah! I will be your assistant in this way.”

The holy Prophet (S) touched Ali’s neck and said:

“Verily this is my brother and my Heir and my Caliph! Hear him and obey him!”

The crowd stood up while they had a smile of mockery on their lips and they told Abutalib that he ordered him to obey the command of his son.

This tradition has also been narrated by many of the sunni scholars, including: ’Ibn-’Abi-Jarirah, ’Ibn-i-’Abi Hatam, ’Ibn- i-Murduwayh, ’Abu-Na‘im, Beyhaghi, Tha‘labi, and Tabari. Ibn-i-’Athir has mentioned this meaning in the second volume of the book ‘Kamil, as well as Abul-Qada’ in the first volume of his history book, and so on.

This tradition shows how alone the Prophet (S) had been on that day, and that they had no response to his call save mockery and ridicule, and that how Ali (as) was beside the Prophet (S) as his assistance and defender from the first days of the call of the Prophet (S).

In another holy tradition we read that the Prophet (S) called every one of the members of Quraysh one by one, and warned them of the Fire.

Sometimes he said:

“O the children of Ka‘b! deliver your selves from the Fire!”

Sometimes he said this very thing to the tribes of Bani ‘Abd-ush-Shams, Bani ‘Abd-i-Manaf, Bani Hashim, and Bani ‘Abd-ul-Muttalib. He told them to rescue their selves from Fire because he was not able to defend them in the case of being blasphemous.25

Then, in the next verse, a vaster scope is referred to, when it recommends the Prophet (S) to have love and humility for the believers who follow him, and says:

“And lower your wing (be humble) to the believers who follow you.”

This beautiful Divine meaning metaphorically indicates having humiliation accompanied with love, affection and mercy.

As when the birds want to show affection to their chicken, they stretch their wings, lower them, and hold their chicken under their wings, so that they can be secure both from the probable harmful events and being protected from any separation, the holy Prophet (S) is also divinely commissioned to gather the true believers under his own protection.

This expressive statement refers to some different delicate points concerning having love and kindness unto the believers which can be made clear with a little attention.

By the way, mentioning this sentence next to the subject of warning indicates this fact that: if once warning and severity is emphasized for the training issues, next to it immediately love, affection and sympathy are emphasized, too, in order that a suitable result comes into being with the combination of them both.

Then, the fourth divine commandment is mentioned, where it says:

“But if they disobey you, then say: ‘Verily I am quit of what you do’!”

The apparent form of the verse shows that the pronoun ‘you’ in the Qur’anic phrase: /‘asauka/ (they disobey you) refers to the close kinsmen of the Prophet (S).

This means: if they did not submit to the truth after your invitation and continued their paganism and adversary, you might define your position against them. As it will be explained later, this predict of the Qur’an happened and all of them, except Ali (as), denied to accept the invitation of the Prophet (S).

Some of them were silent there, while some others made their opposition manifest by the way of mockery and ridicule.

At last, through the fifth divine commandment, in order to complete the former programs, the holy Prophet of Islam (S) is ordered:

“And rely on the Mighty, the Merciful,”

These oppositions should not discourage you and that yoar friends and followers are scantly, must not affect your firm decision. You are not alone; you rely on your Lord Who is Mighty and Merciful.

Your Lord is the same One Whose attributes, as Mighty and Merciful, were mentioned at the end of the life stories of the ancient prophets.

He is the same Lord Who by His might vanished the oppression of the Pharaohs, the pride of the people of Namrud, arrogance and egoistic manner of the people of Noah (a.s), mammonism of the people ‘Ad, and sexuality of the peopte of Lut, and delivered these great divine prophets as well as their believing followers, who were in minority, and bestowed Mercy upon them.

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 218-220

الَّذِي يَرَاكَ حِينَ تَقُومُ

وَتَقَلُّبَكَ فِي السَّاجِدِينَ

إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

218. “He Who sees you when you stand up (in prayer),”
219. “And your movements among those who prostrate themselves.”
220. “Verily He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

The purpose of the Prophet's standing up in this holy verse is either to stand for prayer or to stand for warning and preaching.

Imam Baqir (as) said:

“The purpose is to rise for the subject of prophethood.”

And the same Imam (as) also said:

“The purpose of the sentence:

‘And your movement among those who prostrate themselves’

is that Allah has been aware of your movement in the loins of your theistic ancestors.”26

However, by remembrance of His supervision, Allah, the Mighty, consoles His prophet, and says:

“He Who sees you when you stand up (in prayer),”
“And your movements among those who prostrate themselves.”
“Verily He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

Thus, besides attributing Allah by the qualities of ‘the Mighty, the Merciful’ in former verses, in these holy verses there have been mentioned three other qualities of Allah (s.w.t.), each of which is more encouraging and hope-giving than the other.

He is Allah Who sees the efforts and endeavours of the Prophet (S), and is aware of his rising, his prostration, ad his movement.

He is the Lord Who hears his voice, and Who is aware of his desires and needs. Yes, such a Lord must be relied on and trusted on for all affairs.

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 221-223

هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ عَلَى مَن تَنَزَّلُ الشَّيَاطِينُ

تَنَزَّلُ عَلَى كُلِّ أَفَّاكٍ أَثِيمٍ

يُلْقُونَ السَّمْعَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ كَاذِبُونَ

221. “Shall I inform you on whom the Satans come down?”
222. “They come down on every lying sinful one,”
223. “They listen (eagerly to the Satans), and most of them are liars.”

Since the pagans considered the descent of revelation as the descent of the Satans upon the Prophet (S), Allah decisively announces that Satans come down on the lying sinful ones, not on the immaculate prophet.

Therefore, there are two kinds of descent: one is the descent of revelation by means of a trustworthy angel, the other is the descent of Satans on polluted persons.

So, this verse says:

“Shall I inform you on whom the Satans come down?”
“They come down on every lying sinful one,”

Whatever the Satans heard they inspired unto their friends added with many lies.

The verse says:

“They listen (eagerly to the Satans), and most of them are liars.”

We should know that the origin of any sins is falsehood, and it is even more dangerous than them. Thus, the heart which makes lie is the place where Satan comes down.

The verse says:

“They come down on every lying sinful one,”

There has been cited in Majma‘-ul-Bayan that the Satans eavesdrop from the angels and they inspire unto soothsayers and sorcerers. This circumstance existed before the advent of the Prophet of Islam (S); but after that and at the present time if a Satan intends to eavesdrop, it will encounter a fiery meteor.

Surah Ash-Shu‘ara - Verses 224-227

وَالشُّعَرَاء يَتَّبِعُهُمُ الْغَاوُونَ

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّهُمْ فِي كُلِّ وَادٍ يَهِيمُونَ

وَأَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ مَا لاَ يَفْعَلُونَ

إلاَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَذَكَرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَانتَصَرُوا مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنقَلَبٍ يَنقَلِبُونَ

224. “And the poets, follow them the erring ones,”
225. “Do you not see that they wander about be wildered in every valley?”
226. “And that they say that which they do not do.”
227. “Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and remember Allah much, and defend themselves after being wronged; and soon those who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.”

The Arabic word /qawun/ is derived from /qayy/ which is antonym of the word/rušd/ (guidance, right way), as in another occurrence the Qur’an says:

“...Truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error...”27

Since the pagans thought that the Qur’an was made by illusion and counted the holy Prophet as a poet, these verses condemn them by saying that the adherent of the poets are those who are misguided but the adherents of the Prophet of Islam (S) are not misguided. Poets are mainly aimless and do not act according to their sayings, while the Prophet (S) is not so.

The behaviour of the holy Prophet of Islam (S), which has a full agreement with his speech, is a sign that he is not a poet.

It is narrated from Imam Baqir (as) and Imam Sadiq (as) who, upon the commentary of the Qur’anic sentence:

“And the poets, follow them the erring ones”

said:

“Those who have learnt jurisprudence for an aim other than religion, or they have not learnt it deeply, not only are aberrant but also lead others astray, and the tellers of (vain) stories are included in this reproach.”

Since the name of the aimless poets has been mentioned beside the liars on whom Satans come down, perhaps there can be found a relation between Satan, liars, and aimless prating poets.

It is said in Tafsir-i-Baydawi that since the poems of the Age of Ignorance had mostly been about some imaginations beautiful women, making love with each other, vain boasts or ill-speaking and disdainful words against others’ honour, these verses have been sent down.

The verse says:

“And the poets, follow them the erring ones,”

The difference between a wise man and a poet is in this fact that a wise man at first considers the meanings and then uses the words, but a poet at first considers the frame of the words then utters the meanings.28

A good poem, which supports the Truth, is counted in Islamic narrations better than Holy War with sword, and it is praised.29

The holy Prophet (S) said:

“Some statements, are like magic and some poems are wisdom.”30

The holy Prophet (S) once told a faithful poet by the name of Hissan:

“Ruh-ul-Ghudus is with you.”31

In one of his trips, the Prophet (S) called in Hissan and told him to make poetry. He began reciting poetry and the Prophet (S) was listening. He (S) ordered that there would be left a proper place for Hissan in the mosque.32

Imam Sadiq (as) once told his companions:

“Make your children acquaint with the poetry of ‘Abdi, because he is a good and religious poet.”33

Imam Sadiq (as) said:

“Whoever says a line of poem upon our legitimacy, Allah will give him a house in Heaven.”34

Also Imam Sadiq (as) said:

“Reciting poetry is hateful for the one who is fast and the one who is in pilgrim garment or is; in the sacred premises of Mecca, and also reciting poetry on Friday or the night before Friday is disliked.”35

An Islamic narration indicates that as soon as the above verse (No. 224) was revealed, some of the Muslim poets worried for themselves and came to the Prophet (S).

He (S) said:

“A believer struggles with both his sword and his tongue.”36

However, if poetry and art do not come beside and along the Faith, they can be a helpful means and a level path for the movement of the deluded ones.

Then, next to the abovementioned verse, the Qur’an adds:

“Do you not see that they wander about be wildered in every valley?”

They are drowned in their own imaginations and poetic similes. Even when rhyming drags them this side and that side, they are wandering about bewildered.

They do not often observe logic and reasoning, and their poems emerge out of their excitements; and these excitements and imaginary leaps send them to another field every time.

When they are content and pleased with someone, they elevate him very high by their praises, although the one deserves to be in the depth of the ground, or they introduce him as a beautiful angel, though he is a cursed Satan.37

And when they are offended from someone, they vilify and satirizf him so much that as if .they want to put him into the lowest of the low, though he is a pure and heavenly creature.

Does the exact content of the Qur’an have any similarity, with the mental designs of poets, especially with the poets of that environment who did not do anything save describing wine, the face of the love, and praising the intended tribes, or satirizing the enemies.

Moreover, poets are usually men of joy rather than being the strivers of battlefield, they are men of speech, not men of action.

So, in the next verse, it adds:

“And that they say that which they do not do.”

But the Prophet of Islam (S) is thoroughly man of practice; even his enemies admired him for his firm decision, his wonderful steadfastness, and giving prominence to practical issues. How different is the Prophet of Islam (S) and a poet!

It is understood from the structure of the above Qur’anic sentences that the Qur’an has stated three qualities for this group of poets:

1) Their followers often are the misguided people who escape from facts by using their own imaginary examples and paradigms.

2) They are usually some aimless people and their doctrine changes very soon. They easily vary their way under the effect of excitements.

3) They say sayings that they do not act accordingly, even where they state a fact they do not perform it.

But none of these three qualities adapts the Prophet of Islam (S); he is just in an opposite situation.

Yet, in view of the fact that there are some pure and purposeful poets who do the truth they say and are callers to truthfulness and purity. (Though there were scarcely found of this kind of poets in that society), in order that the right of these faithful artists and truthful strivers would not be wasted, the Qur’an separates them from others with an exception it says:

“Except those who believe and do righteous deeds…”

Those poets whose aim is not merely saying poems, but in their poems they follow some godly and humane aims. The poets who do not dive only in their poetry and do not neglect Allah, but they remember Him much and their poetry reminds people of Allah.

The verse continues saying:

“...and remember Allah much...”

When such poets are unjustly treated with, they use their own intellectual intuition for defending both themselves and the believers.

The verse says:

“...and defend themselves after being wronged...”

If they satirize a group by their poems it is because they want to defend the truth for the stacks against their poems.

Thus, there have been stated here four qualities for the poets who have aims: having Faith, doing righteous deed, much remembrance of Allah, standing severely against oppressions and getting help from the power of poetry for repelling it.

Since most of the verses of this Surah contain consolation to both the Prophet (S) and the scanty believers of that day in the face of the enemies, and since many verses of this Surah have been revealed to defend the Prophet (S) against the enemies' undue accusations, the Surah has been concluded with an expressive and intimidatory sentence unto these obstinate enemies.

It says:

“...and soon those who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.”38

Some commentators have tried to introduce this ‘retuning’ exclusively to that very Fire of Hell, but there is no reason and evidence to limit it.

On the contrary, there may be said that the consecutive failures that they suffered in the battles of Badr and the like, and the weakness, disgrace and degradation they, finally had in this world, besides the failure in the Hereafter are included in the concept of this threat.

However, in the above verses we studied that one of the qualities of the good poets is that they remember Allah very much. Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

“The purpose of /ǒikrun kaIr/’...remember Allah much...’ is the four-hymns of Fatimat-uz-Zahra (as) which includes: proclaim His greatness, praise, the ejaculation /la ’ilaha ’illallah/ and glorification of Allah.39

The same Imam (as) in another tradition says:

“One of the most grievous and the most important thing that Allah has enjoined people is the remembrance of Allah.”

Then he (as) said:

“I do not mean you say /subhanallah-i-wal-hamdu lillah-i-wala’ilaha ’illallahu wallahu ’akbar/, though this is a part of it, but I mean remembrance of Allah when one encounters lawful and unlawful things. If it is the obedience of Allah one must do it, and if it is committing sin, one must leave it.”40

  • 1. It is clear that the objective of ‘heart’ here is the pure spirit and mind of the Prophet
    (S), not the heart in man’s chest which causes the blood to circulate in the body.
    The application of this word here denotes that the Prophet (S) received the Qur’an
    by his soul and spirit and this great heavenly miracle has a base as his pure heart.
  • 2. Jami‘-ul-’Akhbar, Kitab-ul-Qur’an, by Saduq, Vol. 1, P. 46 and Bihar, Vol. 89, P. 17
  • 3. Jami‘-ul-’Akhbar, Vol. 1, P. 432
  • 4. v
  • 5. Bihar, Vol. 92, P. 114, New edition
  • 6. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 176
  • 7. Ibid, sermon 158
  • 8. Ibid, sermon 156
  • 9. Surah Fussilat, No. 41, verse 42
  • 10. Bihar, Vol. 89, P. 14
  • 11. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 165
  • 12. ’’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 2
  • 13. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 232
  • 14. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, sermon 192
  • 15. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 233
  • 16. Bihar, Vol. 73, P. 289
  • 17. Ibid
  • 18. Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 121
  • 19. Surah An-Najm, No. 53, verse 3
  • 20. Surah Al-Hijr, No. 15, verse 9
  • 21. For mere explanation about the Satans’ prohibition from eavesdropping, you can refer to Vol. One of Sirah Ibn-i-Husham. P. 317 on
  • 22. The Arabic word /‘aširah/ originally is derived from /‘ašarah/ (ten), and since the figure, in its limit, is considered as a complete figure, the close relatives, by whom a person forms a complete group, is called /‘aširah/.
  • 23. Surah Al-Hijr, No. 15, verse 94
  • 24. Sirah Ibn-i-Husham, Vol. 1, P. 280
  • 25. Tafsir-i-Qurtabi, Vol. 7, P. 4859
  • 26. Bihar, Vol. 15, P. 3, and the Commentaries of Safi, Ali-ibn-’Ibrahim, Majma‘-ul- Bayan, and Burhan, the explanation about the verse.
  • 27. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 256
  • 28. A persian dictionary by Dehkhuda
  • 29. The commentary of Kanz-ud-Daqa’iq
  • 30. Tafsir-ul-Munir
  • 31. Tafsir-i-Kanz-ud-Daqa’iq
  • 32. Tafsir-i-Ruh-ul-Ma‘ali
  • 33. Tafsir-i-Kanz-ud-Daqa’iq
  • 34. Bihar, Vol. 79, P. 291
  • 35. Wasa’il, Vol. 7, P. 121
  • 36. Tafsir Mawahib-ul-‘Alliyyah
  • 37. Kanz-ud-Daqa’iq, the Commentary
  • 38. A tradition indicates when the holy head of Imam Hussayn (as) was on the top of
    spear it recited this part of the verse. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
    “The clear example of injustice is the injustice upon the progeny of Muhammad (S).
    (The commentary of Nur-uth-Thaqalayn)
  • 39. Tafsir-us-Safi
  • 40. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Safinat-ul-Bihar, Vol. 1, P. 484, and Wasa’il-ush-Shi‘ah, Vol. 5, P. 415

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